Division 3: Familiar Foes Face Off

February 21, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

This Division 3 Finals weekend already looks familiar with five of last season's eight Quarterfinalists making the trip back to Battle Creek's Kellogg Arena.

And top seeds Dundee and Richmond are slated to meet again for the championship – like they did last season, two of the last three years and three of the last six.

Below is a look at all eight teams competing in Division 3, listed by seed. Their Quarterfinal matches begin at 1 p.m. Friday, with Semifinals at 9:30 Saturday morning and the championship match at 4 p.m. All matches this weekend will be streamed live on MHSAA.tv. For results throughout, check the MHSAA Wrestling page. Rankings below are from MichiganGrappler.com


Record/rank: 20-2, No. 1
League finish: First in Lenawee County Athletic Association
Coach: Tim Roberts, 14th season (386-54-1)
Championship history: Six MHSAA championships (most recently 2007), five runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 John Marogen (37-7) sr., 103 Kenny Reinhart (31-14) soph., 112 Zach Blevins (33-12) fr., 125 Brendan O’Connor (39-7) jr., 135 Brad Scholl (22-5) jr., 140 Doug Rojem (47-1) jr., 140 Sean Marogen (28-16) jr., 152 Liam Grantham (31-3) sr., 160 Todd Olson (43-3) sr., 171 Tye Thompson (23-7) soph., 189 Teddy Warren (43-2) jr., 215 Jay Sroufe (28-7) sr.
Outlook: Dundee is making its 11th straight trip to Battle Creek and coming off its fourth-runner-up finish in five seasons. Nine wrestlers are back from last season’s championship match lineup, and Olson and John Marogen were individual runners-up last season. The Vikings beat No. 10 Manchester in the Regional on the way back to the Quarterfinals.


Record/rank: 24-4, No. 2
League finish: First in Blue Water Area Conference
Coach: Brandon Day, ninth season (304-63)
Championship history: Six MHSAA championships (most recently 2012), three runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Aaron Kilburn (36-7) fr., 119 Graham Barton (21-20) fr., 125 Austin Vannatter (33-14) soph., 130 Nick Burg (36-10) jr., 130 Alex Muzlajakovich (27-7) jr., 135 Austin Cattera (23-7) sr., 140 Nate Henke (37-6) sr., 145 Devin Skatzka (45-2) soph., 152 Dalton Yore (28-14) sr., 160 Jordan Adams (28-15) soph., 171 Austin Peltier (31-16) jr., 189 Jake McKiernan (45-5) jr., 215 Adam Boyd (31-14) soph.
Outlook: Aside from the retirement of coach George Hamblin – who led the team to all six of its MHSAA titles, the last four as co-coach with Day – this Richmond team looks a lot like the one that won its third-straight championship last winter. Again, the Blue Devils have 13 individual qualifiers, and all 14 starters have winnings records – with six more reserves who have won at least 20 matches apiece. Skatzka is the reigning individual champion at 135 pounds.  


Record/rank: 25-0, No. 3
League finish: First in West Michigan Conference
Coach: Cliff Sandee, sixth season (148-25)
Championship history: MHSAA runner-up in 1984.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Logan Morningstar (42-4) sr., 103 Reiley Brown (44-4) fr., 112 Logan Irey (42-9) sr., 125 Zach Cooper (50-0) sr., 145 Dakota Hoffman (32-16) jr., 160 Steven Sika (47-3) sr., 171 Joe Sika (45-2) sr., 215 Hunter Shaw (22-7) jr.
Outlook: After entering as the number six seed last season, Whitehall has moved into the top half for this weekend. The Vikings beat both No. 4 Grand Rapids Catholic Central and No. 8 Allendale at the Regional after defeating No. 5 Shelby in the District Final. Zack Cooper and Joe Sika are ranked number one in their respective weight classes and are two of eight senior starters.


Record/rank: 27-3, No. 7
League finish: First in Tri-Valley Conference East
Coach: Bart Bennett, fifth season (137-20)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Kyle Kelsey (32-12) sr., 119 Jerry Fenner (51-3) soph., 125 Adam Bishop (37-7) sr., 130 Damian Johnson (50-4) sr., 140 Ean Taylor (24-10) fr., 140 Lake Bennett (50-6) sr., 145 Mitch Franklin (43-11) jr., 152 Jared Elliott (44-7) jr.
Outlook: Make that three league, four District and two Regional championships over the last four seasons for Birch Run, which beat No. 9 Saginaw Swan Valley at the Regional last week. Fenner, Johnson, Bennett and Elliott all are ranked among the top four in their respective weight classes. Bennett and Johnson are two of nine senior starters total.


Record/rank: 26-4, No. 6
League finish: Tied for first in Central State Activities Association
Coach: Nate Ethridge, 13th season (381-79)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 103 Richie Ostrander (50-6) jr., 112 Zach King (48-5) jr., 119 Johnny Lynch (43-5) sr., 130 Joe Coleman (38-14) sr., 135 Kevin Briscoe (41-13) soph., 152 Jason Peacock (51-1) sr., 215 Cole Thielen (45-11) sr.
Outlook: The Warriors are back in the Quarterfinals for the sixth time in eight seasons, and this time the lineup features six wrestlers with at least 40 wins. Chippewa Hills tied for first in its league with Hesperia, the second-seeded team in Division 4. Peacock is ranked fifth at his weight and should contend for a championship next weekend as well.


Record/rank: 34-1, unranked
League finish: Second in Kalamazoo Valley Association
Coach: Tom DeRyder, fifth season (91-62)
Championship history: Has never finished among the top two teams in Finals competition.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 119 Andy Caffrey (49-0) sr., 145 Steven Rantz (48-7) jr.
Outlook: After finishing 5-24 in DeRyder’s first season, Parchment has increased its win total every winter over the last four and become a contender in the same league as Division 4 power Constantine. Caffrey is the top-ranked wrestler at his weight in this division, and six others have won at least 40 matches this season.


Record/rank: 12-0, unranked
League finish: Second in Great Northern UP Conference
Coach: Jesse DeBacker, third season (32-9)
Championship history: MHSAA Upper Peninsula champion 1987, two UP runner-up finishes.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 285 Tom Bailey (32-7) jr., 112 James Bruce (31-10) fr., 125 Jared Syverson (20-11) jr., 130 Bobby Beauchamp (21-12) fr., 145 Josh Kadish (24-5) sr., 171 Jake Cronick (28-10) soph., 189 Jack Cronick (31-8) jr.
Outlook: Gladstone owns District championships from all three seasons under DeBacker, and also claimed the final championship of the Upper Peninsula-only tournament that ended after the 1986-87 season. Kadish and Jake Cronick both are ranked among the top 10 in their respective weight classes.


Record/rank: 17-8, unranked
League finish: Third in O-K Blue
Coach: Travis Meyer, fifth season (89-52)
Championship history: MHSAA runner-up 1988.
Individual Finals qualifiers: 112 Nate Cooley (29-15) soph., 125 Jesse Scheidel (36-7) soph., 152 Michael Walker (34-12) soph., 189 Neil McCully (38-10) jr., 215 Todd Haller (35-6) sr.
Outlook: After beating both of its District opponents by at least 28 points apiece, Belding edged its Regional opponents by two and one point, respectively, for its first trip to Battle Creek under Meyer. Haller and McCully both are ranked among the top 10 in their respective weight classes.

PHOTO: Dundee's Teddy Warren (right) wrestles with Richmond's Eric Boyd during last season's Division 3 Final at Kellogg Arena. Warren is back this winter. (Click to see more at HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)

Bragging Rights for Both as Multi-Sport Sage Twins Shine at Ford Field

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

March 10, 2023

SOUTHGATE – The question of “Which child is your favorite?” is impossible for any parent to answer, but Shawn Sage has an additional question that’s impossible to answer regarding his son Jackson and daughter Brooklyn.

Greater DetroitThat question is, “Who would win a wrestling match between the two?”

“They are both raising their hands right now smiling about it,” Shawn Sage said with a laugh during a phone conversation.

It’s a good-natured question anybody can pose to Shawn Sage, given his son and daughter are not only twins by birth, but in wrestling achievements as sophomores at Southgate Anderson.

Last weekend at Ford Field, Jackson Sage competed in his second Individual Finals, where he finished fourth in Division 2 in the 157-pound weight class.

It was an improvement from last year’s event, when he qualified as a freshman but didn’t place.

“I was more used to it,” Jackson Sage said. “Last year was a different experience being at Ford Field the first time.”

Brooklyn Sage qualified for the Individual Finals this season as well, where she finished sixth in the Girls Division 155-pound weight class.

The winter was busy for both, but especially for Brooklyn. In addition to competing in wrestling, she was also a member of the school’s competitive cheer team.

“I knew that it would be a commitment,” she said. “But I was up for it. I was at the school for about 14 hours a day, but it was worth it at the end.”

Jackson and Brooklyn are each three-sport athletes. Jackson is the quarterback on the football team in the fall and a member of the track team (he competes in 300 hurdles and two relays) in the spring, while Brooklyn plays softball.

But it’s wrestling where the two share their greatest bond athletically.

Jackson started getting involved in the sport when was around elementary school age, and Brooklyn would tag along to practices.

Along the way, she became intrigued enough to try wrestling herself.

“I liked being able to know that I could defend myself and take care of myself in different ways,” she said. “To be able to stand up for myself.”

Brooklyn said she stopped wrestling competitively around sixth grade because there weren’t opportunities for girls to compete only against each other, but that changed when a girls-only division was added to the MHSAA Tournament with the 2021-22 season.

With both able to compete in high school, at-home workouts intensified. The two regularly train against each other on a mat in their basement, where technique is honed and toughness is sharpened.

“She pushes me a lot,” Jackson said.

Both also learn from each other’s experiences.

“I feel like watching him made me more motivated to do it,” Brooklyn said. “He’s taught me a lot of technique that I wouldn’t have known from his past experiences and coach.”

Added Jackson: “I’ve learned from her matches.”

This week has actually presented a rarity for both in that they’ve had time off.

With wrestling ending and spring sports not officially opening practice until Monday, the two haven’t had practices and competitions.

That’ll change next week when they go their separate ways with Jackson to track practice and Brooklyn joining the softball squad, and they’ll focus on those sports for the rest of the school year.

But with two more years of eligibility left and all-state finishes in wrestling already, the sky is the limit for the next two years in that sport for both.

With that in mind, the questions to Dad about who would win a match are likely only getting started.

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTO Southgate Anderson twins Brooklyn, left, and Jackson Sage both placed at this season’s Wrestling Individual Finals. (Photo courtesy of the Sage family.)